For our final unit of the MDGs and You class we looked at MDGs seven and eight:
7. Ensure environmental sustainability.
8. Develop a global partnership for development.
My assignment was to create a country profile and a chart. The country profile I created focuses on MDG seven in Nicaragua and the work they have been doing to achieve environmental sustainability.
This was the first week of our MDGs and You course where I was able to be happy about the information we were learning. The progress Nicaragua has made towards the MDGs is so inspiring and really helped me to get back into the ideas of the UN as I was losing hope in everything we were learning.
Nicaragua is the 11th happiest country in the world with a 60.5% level of satisfaction, far ahead of the United States, who clocks in at 114th with 30.7%. The level of satisfaction is calculated by the average life expectancy of the country, the happiness of the people and the country’s ecological footprint. Furthermore, for the most part, Nicaragua is making huge strides towards achieving the UN’s eight MDGs, with a small exception of parts of the seventh MDG of ensuring environmental stability.
Since 1990, the proportion of land covered by forest has gone down by 11.5%. Deforestation is a problem in Nicaragua that can be largely attributed to a number of logging concessions made by the Nicaraguan government in the early and mid 1990s. In an attempt to halt the damage of deforestation, Nicaragua put a five year ban in place to temporarily pause the concessions of logging on cedar, mahogany and bombox trees in 1998. Even though this progress was made, deforestation, legal and illegal, still plagues the forests of Nicaragua.
But it is not all bad, the government has started to promote forest plantations, areas that have forests produced by the planting of seeds. In 1990 there were about 4,000 hectares of forest plantations and that number has risen to 50,000 in 2005. Additionally, 6% of the country is under some kind of environmental protection. To try and combat the illegal deforestation, Nicaragua has assembled the Ecological Battalion of 580 ecological soldiers who work in the humid forests of the Mosquito Coast. They already have a huge victory under their belt of keeping 111,800 cubic feet of forest safe.
Nicaragua is well on its way to reversing the rates of deforestation with the work they are doing with forest plantations and their Ecological Battalion.